Zuma violated his oath of office, says Lekota

2012-05-30 22:56
Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota has accused President Jacob Zuma of violating his oath of office. (Jaco Marais, Die Burger)

Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota has accused President Jacob Zuma of violating his oath of office. (Jaco Marais, Die Burger)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Shouts of anger erupted in the National Assembly on Wednesday when Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota accused President Jacob Zuma of violating his oath of office.

Lekota said the president had failed to uphold his Constitutional obligation to protect the rights of artist Brett Murray, who depicted Zuma with his genitals exposed, and City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, who refused to remove an image of the painting from the newspaper's website.

"The president, whose bounden duty it was to uphold the Constitution, did not once utter a word of disapproval against his party leaders and Cabinet members resorting to fascist style measures and tactics to threaten those who were exercising their rights and waiting for the high court to deliver a judgment," he said.

Lekota was speaking during a raucous debate after Zuma delivered the presidency's budget speech.

"The president failed to uphold the right of Ferial Haffajee in terms of 16(1)(a) and of Brett Murray in terms of 16(1)(c) and he has failed the nation as a whole by not being faithful to his oath of office."

Lekota, whom MPs accused of shouting and treating the House as a "rally", said Zuma never once asked his followers to await the judgment of the court in the matter.

He said Zuma did not repudiate Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, who is also general secretary of the SA Communist Party, for "acting in direct contravention of the Constitution".

Neither did Zuma condemn "the fascist action" of Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile "who literally frog marched" Goodman Gallery owner Lisa Esser to make a public apology before the media.

"The shocking failure of the president to uphold the Constitution over the last fortnight ought to warrant a review by this House.

"The laws made in this democratic Parliament seem to be of no consequence and the role of the judiciary of no standing."

Not a shebeen

As shouts erupted in the House, Lekota asked Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo who was chairing the debate to protect him from being "humiliated".

Nzimande asked Mfeketo to rule whether Lekota could make such a "serious statement" about Zuma.

"If a member of this House can stand and make a serious statement that the president has violated his oath of office... Such a statement is a serious thing. Madam chair I ask you to rule."

Mfeketo said the matter would be ruled on later.

In a statement, the Office of ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said it was "gravely disappointed" by what it termed an "irresponsible and reckless" statement by Lekota.

"Parliament is not a shebeen where spurious allegations are made with impunity," it said.

"Lekota's conduct makes a mockery of this Parliament. His remarks are baseless, opportunistic, and silly and we reject them with the contempt they deserve."

It said Lekota had violated the proper procedure of the House.

"An allegation of violation of office by a head of state is a serious matter that cannot be made lightly or for cheap politicking in the House," it said.

"In terms of Parliament's established practice and procedures, an MP who wishes to bring allegations of improper conduct should do so by way of a substantive motion."

It welcomed the commitment by the deputy speaker to look into Lekota's statement and to make a ruling.

Motshekga's office was confident that Lekota would be instructed to withdraw his statement and apologise to the House.

Read more on:    cope  |  anc  |  ferial haffajee  |  mathole motshekga  |  nomaindia mfeketo  |  paul mashatile  |  brett murray  |  blade nzimande  |  jacob zuma  |  mosiuoa lekota  |  parliament 2011  |  zuma painting  |  politics

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


This is why you should install iOS 8

Check out this video to see what iOS 8 has in store for you!


For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.